Ukraine Asks Binance, Coinbase, 6 Other Crypto Exchanges To Block Russian Users
By Sandali Handagama
Earlier today, U.S. authorities added regulations aimed at thwarting the use of digital currencies and assets to evade sanctions.
Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation is sending official letters to eight cryptocurrency exchanges, requesting them to stop servicing Russian users because of concerns that digital currencies are being used to evade sanctions.
The ministry is reaching out to Coinbase, Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit, Gate.io and Whitebit, along with Ukrainian exchange Kuna, according to a list shared with CoinDesk.
A representative from the Ministry of Digital Transformation in Ukraine told CoinDesk that the letters request the listed cryptocurrency exchanges to halt support for the Russian ruble, ruble spot pairs and fiat gateways, including Russian payment systems. The ministry is also asking the exchanges to block all Russian customers.
In a statement, Coinbase said it won’t be instituting any blanket bans on transactions involving Russian addresses, but will block those accounts or transactions that may involve sanctioned individuals or entities. Coinbase said its “mission is to increase economic freedom … A unilateral and total ban would punish ordinary Russian citizens.”
Kraken CEO Jesse Powell expressed similar sentiments last night when explaining why his exchange wouldn’t be freezing the accounts of its Russian clientele unless legally required to do so.
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